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The latest Astra will be lighter and shorter than the current car but will have more room inside, Opel said in a statement on Monday. It will also have new infotainment and lighting technologies to help it compete better against rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.

"Our engineers developed it from the proverbial white sheet of paper," Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said in the statement. "Its dimensions are smaller but both spaciousness and comfort have been increased considerably."

Opel said the Astra is based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture that reduces its weight by between 120kg and 200kg depending on the model.
 

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The significant weight reduction is mainly due to the new platform, as the bodyshell weight alone was reduced by 20 percent from 357 to 280 kilograms. Chassis-related measures shaved another 50 kilograms off the Astra's weight, with the end result being improved agility and driving comfort. Opel says the new model is "more responsive, corners better and gives a much more direct overall driving experience."
 

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It looks far lighter and tauter than the current bloated version. Looks pretty good to me in fact. More interesting than a Golf or A3, far better resolved than the still messy Focus and more up-market than anything offered by the French or Koreans.
 
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